A large permanent freshwater marsh with relatively little open water, in an inter-fluvial depression between the Dez and Karkheh rivers 45 km north-north-west of Ahwaz. Open water supports abundant floating and submerged aquatic vegetation, and the marsh is dominated by extensive Phragmites and Typha with a surrounding belt of seasonally inundated sedge marsh and arable land.
See boxes for key species. Horeh Bamdej is an important breeding area for herons and egrets (including Ardea purpurea), Marmaronetta angustirostris, Circus aeruginosus, Porphyrio porphyrio, Himantopus himantopus, Glareola pratincola and Vanellus leucurus. Acrocephalus melanopogon and A. stentoreus breed in the reedbeds. The site is also very important for wintering Pelecanus crispus, herons and egrets, Platalea leucorodia, Anser anser, surface-feeding ducks (regularly over 20,000), Fulica atra, Himantopus himantopus, Vanellus leucurus and Limosa limosa. Threskiornis aethiopicus occurs in winter, and small numbers (apparently non-breeders) have been observed in summer, as also Ciconia ciconia.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
There is no legal protection. Parts of the wetland are currently being drained for agriculture.
Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Horeh Bamdej. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 09/02/2023.